Observatory Activities

Open-Use and Education Activities


A Subaru users meeting. Once a year, the staff members and users discuss Subaru's current issues and future plans.

Subaru Telescope is an open-use facility, meaning any researcher in the world can submit a proposal to observe. The time allocation committee determines which proposals have the most scientific merit and are best suited for Subaru. The open-use system is designed to ensure that the telescope is doing the highest quality research. The requests for telescope time in 2007 are running as high as 400% over capacity.

Computer Network and Data Archive

Subaru has a large data archiving capacity that is incorporated into a high-speed computer network. Fiber optic cables provide a direct link between the telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea, the Hilo Base Facility, and NAOJ headquarters in Mitaka, Japan. Data from the telescope is immediately archived in Hilo and in Mitaka, where researchers can access data as if they were at the summit. The high-speed network also allows astronomers to observe remotely from Japan. Observational data is held as proprietary for use by the original observation team for a year and half. After this holding period, the data becomes available to other researchers around the world. The observatory maintains an archive system for all data in the hope that it can be used to its full capacity for many years to come.

Subaru Mitaka Campus

SOKENDAI graduate students are exposed to the reality of the observations at the summit control room.

Subaru Telescope is also a place for training of the next generation of researchers. Students from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI) in Japan and other universities are actively involved in the development of instruments and research projects at the Hilo Base Facility. Subaru also encourages college students to participate in the observation experience, or to attend classes using a videoconference system. In addition, Subaru accepts local high school and college students to work at Hilo Base Facility as interns.

Subaru Mitaka Campus

The NAOJ headquarters in Mitaka, Tokyo, manages the open-use system of Subaru Telescope, and provides the researchers an interactive support system for additional data analysis. It also promotes various educational programs. The photo at right shows a group of graduate and undergraduate students that are part of a “Winter School” data analysis seminar held at the Mitaka Campus.


Public Information and Outreach Office

Web/Media releases

Press releases are issued by Subaru to the media and via web site. Contents are target for the general audience and tell the finding from the Telescope or activities at Subaru. The PIO Office also produces brochures, posters, and other educational materials for circulation to the public.

Facility Tours

◆ Subaru Telescope
During daytime hours on weekdays a tour guide escorts visitors along a special route inside the telescope enclosure. Reservations are required for the tour and can be made online at the Subaru web site. The web site also has information on tour procedures, guidelines, and safety issues. Special tours can be arranged for student study groups (of or older than 16 years of age), researchers, engineers, or other special interest groups.

◆ Hilo Base Facility

Visitors (by appointment) to our Hilo Base Facility can browse displays of recent observational results or view a broadcast of real-time working conditions at the summit. Also, by request, staff members can prepare classes and lectures regarding the latest scientific and engineering results of ongoing research. Subaru also recommends a visit to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.


Subaru offers interactive lectures and classes between the Hilo Base Facility and schools or science organizations in Japan and on the Big Island of Hawai’i.



Local Public Outreach

Subaru offers presentations at schools and community groups, and participates in local events.


◆ AstroDay

On AstroDay, exhibits, interactive presentations, and educational demonstrations are showcased to the local community in a nearby shopping mall. Subaru participates in this annual event along with other Mauna Kea telescopes.

◆ School Visit

Observatory staff members visit island schools and give presentations to students on request from schoolteachers and administrators. Many Subaru astronomers also join “The Journey through the Universe” program, a popular weeklong event during which various Mauna Kea telescope staff members and international scientists visit local schools.

◆ Science Class for Kids
Subaru staff members participate in science classes for children that are held several times a year. “Onizuka Science Day,” in memory of the late Hawai’i-born astronaut Ellison Onizuka, is one example of this type of event. Activities that are part of these children’s programs include crafts, experiments, observation classes, and exhibitions of what can be found at the summit observatory.

◆ Lectures
Subaru staff members regularly hold astronomy lectures available to the public on the university campus, at the Onizuka Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea, and at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.

Guidelines for use

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